We all have them. Those tight spaces (narrow walkways, against the side of the house, petite little borders) that need a little something that makes a style statement, but doesn’t become a maintenance nightmare by overgrowing the area.
We’ve chosen 18 smaller shrubs by groups of zones that are either naturally dwarf (typically topping out at about 4 – 5′ tall maximum) or are very slow growers Each of these has something special going on that we’re pretty sure will solve a problem in your landscape. Plants may span many zones, so please don’t feel limited to the outline here!
Need more specific advice about a small space issue that’s vexing you? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you.
Little Joker® Ninebark
Zone: 4 – 8
Award-winning beauty with burgundy stems and leaves and pale pink button flowers in spring and summer! Useful for small urban gardens, mass plantings, or a low maintenance landscape. Up to 4′ tall and wide. Partial shade to full sun.
Zones 3 - 5
Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce
Zone: 2 – 8
Will eventually reach about 5′ tall and wide but a slow grower. Bright blue needles add a cool calming effect to the garden. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.
Kelsey’s Dwarf Red-Osier Dogwood
Zone 2 – 8
Bare red stems provide striking seasonal color to dormant winterscapes. In summer, makes a perfect lush green backdrop. Up to 30″ tall and wide. Partial to full sun.
Crimson Kisses™ Weigela
Zone: 4 – 9
Such a colorful choice to back a flower border or to feature in front of larger shrubs! Blooms in spring, repeating through summer. Up to 3′ tall and wide. Full sun.
Carsten’s Wintergold Mugo Pine
Zone: 2 – 7
We love conifers that change color with the seasons! Deep, minty green in summer, turning to a rich gold in colder weather. Up to 2′ tall and wide. Full sun.
Zone 6 - 8
Tiny Tower® Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Zone: 3 – 8
When you need structure for a tight space or a container, this handsome dwarf conifer is the perfect option for smaller gardens. Up to 6′ tall, 2′ wide. Full sun.
Evergreen with red new foliage, purple-pink buds for winter color, and bright pink spring flowers. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Partial sun.
Petite Pinkie™ Crape Myrtle
Zone: 7 – 9
A bit taller than other “dwarf” picks, but on the smaller side. Excellent massed in single-color plantings or as an individual accent. Up to 5′ tall, 4′ wide. Full sun.
Zone: 9 - 11
Chansonette’s Blush Camellia
Zone: 7 – 9
Oh, those pretty blooms! Grows low and wide so the ideal antidote for a shorter border or in front of taller camellias. Up to 3′ tall, 8′ wide. Full shade to filtered sun.
Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive
Zone: 8 – 11
Adds a grey/green glam with foliage that almost shimmers in sunlight. Heat, drought, and salt tolerant (great for coastal gardens!). Up to 4′ tall and wide. Full sun.
Everblooming Gardenia (Grafted)
Zone: 8 — 11
Grafted gardenias (the upper portion is married to a superior root stock) are a great solution for areas with less than ideal soil. Up to 4′ tall, 3′ wide. Partial to full sun.
Ballerina Indian Hawthorn
Zone: 8 – 10
It’s amazing that a plant this pretty could also be tough-as-nails in the garden! Rose-pink flowers produce small, dark berries. Up to 2 1/2′ tall, 4′ wide. Partial to full sun.